Aside from eliminating toxins and harmful chemicals from my home… I like saving money. Conveniently, lots of the glass and cloth things I use around the house help me achieve both of these end goals.
Thanks to so many naturally minded consumers and the zero-waste community, a lot of these options are becoming more readily available.
Here is a list of all of the reusables I use that make life greener and cheaper!
I’ve talked about our gorgeous cadillac stash of Grovia diapers over here before. This amazing stash of diapers is not that much work to maintain and is saving us thousands of dollars over time. They rarely leak, we’ve only had like three blow outs in three years with two different kids, and we are avoiding a bunch of nasty unknown chemicals used in disposables.
I love my reusable stash of diapers! We never have to worry about running out, plus they’re easy to clean using this laundry routine.
Glass Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles are not a new trend by any means, but using glass is much less common, but really important. Lots of plastic water bottles contain endocrine interrupting chemicals that are really bad for us, and it’s even worse when they get really hot left in the car or dishwasher, causing a greater release of potentially harmful chemicals.
There are lots of great glass water bottles on the market with silicon sleeves, but my favorite is this one on the right from Contigo. Ethan has this glass Camelback that he enjoys, but I prefer the more straw-like spout on mine. Both are great and super strong / shatter-resistant.
Sometimes called “Un-paper towel,” but always simply called “rags” by my mom, I use these all of the time in place of paper-towel. I got a great set on Ikea years ago that I can’t find anymore, but any cotton rag will do. These are amazing for quick spills, wiping the table, or any other time you would reach for paper towel. (The only time I ever still use paper towels is for bacon grease!)
Once you get used to cloth napkins, the cheap, flimsy paper ones will seem so subpar at mealtime. I got mine at a thrift store for a few bucks, and they’ve been used at every meal in our home for years now.
Also, unless you have had a particularly messy meal, the same napkin is usually just fine for all of the day’s meals or so.
A French Press
I recently ditched my plastic, chemical leeching coffee maker for a french press like this one on Amazon. (I got mine used off of Facebook and you can often find these at thrift stores.)
A french press saves you money in two ways: First, the little metal fine mesh piece you press down completely eliminates any kind of coffee filter.
The added bonus also comes in not needing to use as much coffee! I find that it takes half as much of my coffee grounds to brew the same strength, so I’m saving there too! There are other options you can find too like a Chemex or a pour over coffee dripper. If you want to keep the coffee hot for a while and miss the warming plate of a coffee maker, pour it into a thermos to enjoy later, or you can use my favorite Contigo auto-seal reusable travel coffee mugs I use all the time!
Bamboo and Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
My mother-in-law sent me these Bamboo Air Purifying Bags from Amazon for Christmas and they’re a wonderful, non-toxic, reusable substitute for any kind of a synthetic air freshener. The activated charcoal in the bags absorbs odors and can be cleaned by airing them out in the sunshine periodically.
These TRULY absorb odors! I leave one in our coat closet that often would smell musty, by the cloth diaper bin, and under the sink by that tub of dirty rags. None of these were super smelly things in the past, but now any occasional unpleasant odor is completely eliminated!
They come in a set with several sizes, as well as a couple reusable refrigerator odor packets.
These are great in places you would use synthetic air freshener, Renuzit type gels, or even spraying Febreeze (all of which have really nasty, toxic chemicals in them!)
Reusable Snack Bags/Sandwich Wraps
I do still use some plastic wrap, but I have greatly cut down on what we use by using these snack bags and sandwich wraps from PlanetWise. They are so easy to use, have strong velcro enclosures, and save money not buying plastic baggies over and over.
You can also sometimes find these for a great price over at Nicki’s Diapers.
Glass Food Storage
One of my favorite wedding presents was this set of glass food containers with snap on lids. They are durable, easy to use, microwaveable if you need to, and so much better for you than plastic tupperware.
I’ve actually started a “scrap” container in the fridge as seen below for random items I’ve only partially used. I’m much more likely to finish things up if I keep these half-used foods in one container that I keep checking.
Cloth Shopping Bags
While there is initial investment in reusable shopping bags, they aren’t that expensive these days, (my great cloth ones from Trader Joes are like $3.99 in store), they last a super long time, cut down on your trash/recycling bin space from disposable bags, and many stores now give you a credit for using your own bags, so they can pay for themselves eventually!
Cloth Feminine Pads
I saved this one for last for fear of running someone off… but cloth pads are amazing. These have held up to postpartum bleeding and periods. I also wore them when I miscarried baby Andrew and they were completely sufficient.
I have a whole 101 cloth pads post here.
It’s fantastic not having a bunch of unknown chemicals from cheaply treated cotton against my body. I never need to run out for emergency pads, they don’t feel like wearing a diaper, and bonus, they pop in with my cloth diaper laundry easy-peasy. I bought most of these from Pink Lemonade and they are more expensive, but I also own these ones off of Amazon which are a quality, more affordable option. (Etsy will also have lots of options for you!)
I’d love to know what you’re doing to save money or reduce toxins in your home these days!